Posted by: donrhymer | May 15, 2014

Rhymer Reason

Don had a way with words. As a writer he spent so much time at his computer – writing, rewriting, rewriting, then rewriting some more. I can still hear him as if he’s in the next room, working on a draft and laughing at his own jokes.

His last movie, Rio 2 (see it in theaters soon before it’s gone!!) was released in April. The kids and I went to Miami for the premiere and then hosted a little party here in Los Angeles on opening night. His voice is so clear and his words jump off of the screen. There is a sweet “In Loving Memory of Don Rhymer” tribute at the very end of the film. Every time I see the movie I am stunned by this reality – I may never again see his name or hear his words spoken up on the big screen.

Don’s words are his legacy, his gift. I have voicemails and texts and emails from him. Love letters from college, school essays and short stories. Chapters from a novel he started. I have his office, full of outlines and treatments and scripts. I can watch his tv shows and movies and see the characters that he created bring his words to life. I’m both desperate and grateful to have something tangible to hold on to.

It has been said that “good words are worth much and cost little”.  When each of our kids was in college Don would send them postcards every once in awhile, often just a sentence or two, to say hi and let them know he was thinking of them. They were his way of checking in, of giving a little “Dad advice” from a distance.  For his memorial service we decided to collect our favorites and have them printed to share with everyone who came.

IMG_1798Some quotes are serious, others are funny, but they all have a bit of wisdom behind them.  “Just show up” has become one of our family mottos.

The day before he died Don wrote the last quote on a legal pad in his hospital room. “Focus on the good.”  He was as certain at the end of his journey as he was at the beginning that God does indeed inhabit the bitter and the sweet.

His final gift of his words. No rewriting necessary.

– Kate






  1. Truer words were never written. I give thanks every day for Don and his amazing gift – and the privilege of knowing and being loved by him. All our love to you, dearest sister Kate!

  2. Thanks for the shot in the arm. YOU too have a gift with words…..
    I am copying this and rereading it everyday…..
    Love you dear friend. Sending you Light to guide your path.

  3. Thanks Kate, Marvin Wadlow Jr here. Not sure you remember me? I appreciate those words as I try and follow in the footsteps of Don, John Wyric, and others. Don certainly had a way with words. Even I remember that in Partners Class at FPCH way back in the day. I had no idea I would shun LIine Producing and join the ranks of being a writer. Thanks for being gracious enough to encourage me without even knowing it. Thanks to Don for his words that also lift me. Rio 2, I need to go see it! 🙂 I might be laughing out loud where others are like, “what’s wrong with that guy.” Don at work again!

  4. If I could only tell you how many times “Focus on the Good” has been said in our home, driving in the car, sitting at my desk, going to sleep, waking up, making dinner, showering, crying, praying, talking to the kids, not talking to the kids 🙂

    It has become my mantra.

    What a powerful thing you have done by sharing this!

    Thank you Kate!

  5. Hi Kate, I went to Rio with my grandson, Julie’s son Brody ,and was so excited to see Don’s name.I would love to know all the scripts he wrote .You are in my thoughts and I love to see you in print honoring dear Don.
    With empathy and love, Martha

  6. Beautifully written, Kate. We all need to focus on the good. Thanks for using Don’s words to remind us of how wonderful life is. Sue

  7. Once again you move and inspire me to tears… Love you Kate, thank you for such great reminders of Don’s wit and wisdom, we miss him too.

  8. lovely, Kate- B.

  9. oooooooohhhhh……..this was presious…..such insight into your journey Dear Kate. Such honor, love and respect for your husband…
    Love and appreciate you and your words

  10. I like ‘focus on the good’. Simple and yet it means a lot. Too often we tend to look at the bad things that are happening in our lives and neglect the good ones. Even in people, we always shine the spotlight on their weaknesses rather than their strength.

    But when we reverse the direction and focus on the good, we find that things change and mostly for the better.

    Thanks, Kate for sharing this with us 🙂 .

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